The sun re-appeared this morning and a trip to Mucifal, one of our great local villages, was on the cards for a re-stock of cat food for Pansy and Pompey, dog biscuits for our puppy friends, Sado and Pinhao, plus a rummage in the local household shop and best of all, as the sun was out, a chance to investigate our local junk shop.
Mucifal is a very well served village. It has umpteen corner shops or mini supermarkets, bakeries, frozen fish shop, wet fish shop, butchers, market, a selection of household goods shops (large and small), a fabulous jewellers, a generous sprinkling of coffee shops, a couple of tiny clothes shops, a fishing tackle/horse tackle shop,a couple of newsagent type shops, an electrical shop, a shop catering for the disabled, a couple of odd shoes shops (one does repairs), a funeral director, a takeaway bbq shop (the grill is in the alley next to the shop), a florist, a beautiful linen, towels, bedding and material shop, a gift shop, an embroidery/tapestry/baby clothes shop and a pet shop - who needs supermarkets?
The pet shop is a small building stuffed with everything you need for your pet, be it a rabbit, hamster, dog, cat, parrot or fish. Claudia is incredibly helpful and speaks beautiful English. Today, after pointing me at the 'special offer' section on dry cat food, she let me cuddle a rather gorgeous baby bunny - no, I did not get to bring it home unfortunately. In her fish tank are two enormous fish which are orange and black striped and are usually in darkness otherwise I believe they fight. There are two cute parrots - the portuguese love their birds in cages which takes some getting used to - a selection of brightly coloured budgies and the odd hamster. The thing I love most, is that she sells the wet food sachets my cats have at the same price as the supermarket and I would rather give her the business than travel for 20 minutes to a supermarket. She does not have a website, but if you live anywhere near Mucifal and want to speak to someone who really knows her stuff, please do visit and she stocks all the necessary toys and flea products too. The shop is called Chocalho, Loja de Animais, Rua Almerindo Lavrador, n13, Mucifal. 21 928 0911/96 301 89 49.
After stocking up on provisions for the animals it was off to investigate the junk yard. We found this place totally by accident last summer. I had walked past it frequently and never thought anything about it other than it was a large, white, metal sliding garage door. One day, as we walked past, the door was open and low and behold it was the most amazing junk yard you had ever seen. A narrow pathway leads between a covered area with wardrobes, bookcases, chest-of-drawers, tables etc and an area open to the elements with everything else.
The uncovered, miscellaneous section
Lighting and wardrobes
Bed frames and chairs are in here somewhere
We were looking for a desk at first and after the lady rummaged around a bit she said she had nothing in the yard but her husband was due back any minute, so would we wait because he might have something. We did. The next thing is that we have been bundled into the ubiquitous white van and driven round the back streets of Mucifal to their home. A large bungalow with a paved front garden covered in tarpaulins. After much muttering and lifting of tarps, he pulled out a few examples of desks for us to examine. Unfortunately they were not what we were looking for, but Glenn suddenly spotted something tucked away and got him to pull it out. A lovely coffee table appeared. A big of haggling and it was ours. So an unscheduled visit for a desk, resulted in a coffee table we had not even thought of. Glenn cleaned it up and polished it and it is now a key part of our decor.
Not bad for 45 euros!
Needless to say, we have become quite regular visitors and here are more of our bargains from last year, which Glenn has very successful given a second lease of life to.
Great kitchen table doubling as a desk
We got a desk eventually
One day, again without wanting anything, we spotted a beautiful little side table. We enquired about it only to be told someone had already said they wanted it and she had put it to one side. I offered her cash on the spot when she told me that the other person had not put a deposit on it. She hummed and hawed a bit, grinned and agreed and said that she would say someone else sold it behind her back! I think we got a great buy.
The large crystal vase was also a 20 euro bargain
Today, because we can't resist, we dropped in again and picked up these beautiful hand painted bowls for ....wait for it... 10 euros
Beautiful, traditional painted bowls
It also looks like there may be an extension to the yard directly opposite - but we have not explored it it because we are worried about what else we might decide we can't live without.
So if you are in Mucifal keep a look out for this Aladdin's Cave of goodies (closed on Thursdays) on Travessa dos Lavadouros, 18, Mucifal and see what you can come up with. Good hunting.